Ref NoMS24
TitleRobert Keay elder and younger papers
HistoryRobert Keay was born in 1800, the nephew of Robert Keay (1766-1839), silversmith, Perth. Keay joined his uncle's business in 1815 as an apprentice and became a partner in 1825. From this date the company, which manufactured silver items including ecclesiastical and domestic wares, was known as R. & R. Keay. Robert Keay carried on the business alone after the death of his uncle in 1839. His other business interests included part ownership, with John Martin, writer, and William McKenzie, bootmaker, of two ships, the 'Eagle' and the 'Rose', as part of the company of Keay, McKenzie & Co., Perth. The ships traded goods to Britain and the Baltic with occasional voyages further afield such as to South and North America. The 'Rose' was broken up in 1849 and the 'Eagle' was sold in 1851. The jewellery and silversmith business ceased to trade on the death of Robert Keay in 1856. Perth Museum and Art Gallery have a collection of silver made by the Keays.
DescriptionLetters to Robert Keay, Perth from his nephew, William Forrester, jeweller, London, relating to the jewellery trade and Joseph Forrester, 1825-1842; Letters to Messrs. R. & R. Keay and Robert Keay from customers and business associates including Leonard Urquhart, silversmith, Edinburgh, 1831-1856; Business invoices and receipts, 1831-1855; Letters from James Caw, jeweller, Edinburgh to Robert Keay younger and Messrs R. & R. Keay relating to the jewellery trade and to political reform and related concerns, 1831-1853; Letters, volumes and papers relating to the shipping trade carried out by the 'Eagle' and the 'Rose' including letters from the ship’s masters to Keay reporting on the progress of the vessels, 1838-1850; Papers relating to the administration of the affairs of various members of the Keay family and related branches, 1790-1857.
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NA14643Keay; Robert (1800-1856); silversmith, Perth1800-1856
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